Old Pension Scheme: The Karnataka government has made a significant decision by reinstating the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for around 13,000 state government employees who were hired after 2006. This move fulfills Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s promise to the government employees who had been protesting against the New Pension Scheme (NPS). Unlike the NPS, the OPS provides a guaranteed retirement benefit amount for employees.
This decision has been a long-standing demand of the state government employees and has received positive feedback from various sources. According to the provided information, eligible employees will have a one-time opportunity to choose the Old Pension Scheme OPS before June 30, 2024. Recommendations for eligible employees should be submitted to the heads of departments by July 31, 2024, and then forwarded for approval to the Finance Department by August 31, 2024.
Old Pension Scheme
This Old Pension Scheme announcement is in line with the actions taken by other states in India that have already implemented the central government’s order to revert to the OPS. C S Shadakshari, the president of the Karnataka State Government Employees Association, has confirmed receiving a “definite assurance” from the state government regarding the implementation of the Old Pension Scheme. The decision to reintroduce the OPS is expected to have a significant financial impact on the state’s exchequer, especially considering the additional burden of the 7th Pay Commission, which will substantially increase annual expenditure for the salaries of the state’s six lakh employees.
Furthermore, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has also pledged to implement the Karnataka Arogya Sanjeevani Scheme, a health insurance initiative, for government employees and their families. This further demonstrates the government’s commitment to the well-being of its employees.
Old Pension Scheme versus the New Pension Scheme
With the Old Pension Scheme, government employees can enjoy a secure future with a monthly pension that is equivalent to half of their last drawn salary. On the other hand, the New Pension Scheme offers the opportunity for employees to contribute a portion of their salaries to a pension fund, resulting in a substantial lump sum payment upon retirement. This transition took place in December 2003, marking the end of the old pension scheme and the introduction of the new pension scheme on April 1, 2004. Choose wisely and secure your financial future with the pension scheme that suits your needs.
Siddaramaiah criticizes the central government
The Karnataka Chief Minister has also criticized the central government, highlighting its failure to fulfill its promise of creating two crore jobs per year. Siddaramaiah pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge to generate 2 crore jobs annually has not been met. The commitment to provide 20 crore jobs within a decade has also remained unfulfilled. These remarks were made by Siddaramaiah during the inauguration of a project aimed at rejuvenating 150 lakes and ponds in 79 villages in Periyapatna taluk, sourced from the Cauvery River at Muthtinamulusoge on Wednesday, January 24.
As a one-time provision, the government has granted an opportunity for all qualified government employees to choose the former OPS, with certain conditions, as stated below:
- Government servants who were selected through recruitment notifications issued before 1 April 2006, and joined the state government’s service on or after that date are eligible to express their interest in being covered under the OPS. To exercise this choice, they must directly submit their preference to the competent appointing authority by 30 June.
- Once the decision to opt for the OPS has been made, it cannot be reversed.
- If the option is not exercised within the specified date, eligible government employees will continue under the National Pension Scheme.
- Heads of Departments (HoDs) are responsible for reviewing proposals received from all appointing authorities under them and submitting the list of eligible employees for coverage under the former pension scheme to the Finance Department for approval by 31 August.
- Furthermore, eligible government servants appointed to positions in other government departments after responding to recruitment notifications issued before 1 April 2006, for State Civil Service vacancies may choose to avail the benefits of the OPS. These individuals are required to appeal to their previous appointing authority by 30 June.
- The appointing authority must verify such applications through appropriate channels and facilitate the release of the government servant to report to the selected post in the other department by following the outlined procedures.